tv NBC Nightly News NBC December 13, 2009 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
deal breaker. tiger woods loses his first major endorsement deal after stepping away from golf. rescue mission. a race against time and the weather to save climbers on mounhood. attacked. italy's prime minister bloodied after a rally in milan. and speaking out about the verdict and her life behind bars. verdict and her life behind bars. what's next for amanda knox. captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening. there was more bad news today for tiger woods. this time it was delivered by
one of his major responseors, accenture, which tonight says it is immediately terminating their endorsement deal and ending their six-year relationship with woods. the consulting firm's decision to cut ties with the disgraced golfer makes it the first company to drop woods following his admission of infidelity. but there are signs the widening sex scandal could be putting several other of woods' big-money sponsorship deals in jeopardy. nbc's mark potter has late details. >> reporter: for the past six years tiger woods and the global management consulting firm accenture have been in business together, with woods appearing in company ads. but tonight it's over. in a statement issued late this afternoon, accenture said, "given the circumstances of the last two weeks, after careful consideration and analysis, the company has determined that he is no longer the right representative for its advertising." this makes accenture the first major sponsor to fully ut its
ties with woods since the scandal over his personal life unfolded. meanwhil other sponsors are also weighing their relationships with woods now. among them gillette, where a spokesman says woods is currently in time out. in a formal statement gillette says, "we wish him and his family the best. as tiger takes a break from the public eye, we will support his desire for privacy by limiting his role in our marketing campaign." at&t also says it is evaluating its ongoing relationship with woods. >> because tiger's taking a break, you can't expect his sponsors to continue with their marketing campaigns. >> reporter: two other major sponsors, though, nike and electronic arts, still fully support woods and say their business ties remain solid. amid all the controversy woods got another boost from the man closest to him on the golf course. >> he's been incredibly gracious with the media. he's never not committed himself to the media. and he's been great. he makes one mistake, and they
run all over the guy. >> reporter: with woods now admitting infidelity and saying he would leave professional golf indefinitely to devote himself to his family, some still anticipate his eventual return. >> the first tournament that he comes back to play in will be an absolute media circus. it will be something that we have never experienced certainly in golf. >> reporter: for now, though, there's a lot of personal and business trouble to overcome. mark potter, nbc news, miami. >> here to talk about what this means for the tiger woods brand, we're joined here in new york by darren ruvell, who covers the business side of sports for cnbc. we just saw him in that story. darren, accenture doesn't sell consumer products, nothing that you and i can buy, but rather management and technology expertise, which really means it's marketing a sense of integrity and reliability. so was its brand more at risk from its association with woods than some other sponsors? >> yeah, absolutely, lester. no question about it not only that, it relied on tiger being as much a perfect man as it did a perfect golfer.
that's where their advertising was going. and they didn't have a product. i will say them coming out with a statement means a lot. it's not like they're going to go into airports, where their advertising was, and just take it down quietly and hope that you don't notice. they're telling you that they don't want to be associated with him. that is a b deal. >> and then the first moment you hear this, the next thought is, well, this is going to make it easier for other companies to drop him. is that necessarily the case? >> you know, i think that's sometimes overplayed. i think each company is evaluating their decision. they're trying to figure out if they can be with tiger woods again, if he can be helpful to their marketing again. and as you know, right now that's very tough. they've had different reactions. as mark said, you know, gillette says we'll go out with tiger. but i think each company really is its own individual circumstance. >> any sense of what's going on behind the scenes with team tiger tonight? >> well, mark steinberg, tiger's agent, said they're working for solution-oriented dialogue. and that basically means in agent-speak they're trying to
save these deals. but ultimately, it's going to come down to the news cycle. how much more is out there? how long will we b talking about this? and that's the real issue. and as you know, lester, team tiger can't control that. >> darren ruvell, who's been covering this story for cnbc, with us tonight. darren, thank you. >> thank you. the latest now in the search for two climbers missing on mt. hood. it's oregon's tallest peak. the mountain is a favorite of climbers, though more than 130 have died on its slopes since the first recorded he deaths more than100 years ago, including one just yesterday. rescuers now are in a race against time and the elements. we get the latest from nbc's lee cowan. >> reporter: a chopper circled the crystal blue skies that hung above oregon's mt. hood today, making the summit look deceptively southeastern. b but just in the last 48 hours the mountain has claimed the life of one young climber. two more, a man and a woman both in their 20s-r missing.
>> you know, i just want to say it's a difficult time. >> reporter: tonight will be their third night on the mountain, braving bitter col and high winds on the steep face of a glacier. >> we're doing everything we can to -- with the hopes of these people are alive, they're holed up in a snow cave, something like that. >> reporter: described as experienced, the trio left early friday morning climb planning to tackle mt. hood's 11,200-foot summit but never returned. early saturday rescuers recovered the body of 26-year-old luke gullberg. he was found on reed glacier at around 9,000 feet. and with him a camera with photos of the climbing party. >> everyone was smiling, and it looked like they were confident and having a good time. >> reporter: luke's myspace page is full of those kind of pictures, describing his priorities as god, then climbing. ice climbing seemed of particular interest, and he had ventured up mt. hood in the
winter before, posting pictures of him on the summit. but rescuers believe this time luke may have fallen, perhaps during a storm. his two climbing partners, katti nolan and anthony vietti, should be nearby, but getting to the site is difficult. high winds, eight inches of fresh snow, and the threat of avalanches are all making a highly technical climb that much worse. >> it's quite dangerous because of the wind chill factor and new snow. so there is definitely a risk to anyone going into that area. >> reporter: it was almost exactly three years ago that mt. hood claimed the lives of three other experienced climbers. two of their bodies were never recovered. in fact, over the last decade oregon's highest peak has claimed 18 lives. and as one rescuer put it, we can only find what the mountain gives back. lee cowan, nbc news, los angeles. messy and dangerous winter weather remains an issue in the american northeast tonight.
in pittsburgh icy roads sent cars spinning, causing accidents, stopping traffic, and shutting down roads, including parts of some major highways. and wet and icy roads are being blamed for a 50-car pileup in shelton, connecticut today. 46 people were hurt, six of them hospitalized, none with life-threatening injuries. now to the traffic crowding stores and malls across the country tonight. with just 12 days until christmas, shoppers and retailers are counting down and counting dollars in this season of tight budgets, hoping for the best christmas a tough economy will allow. more on all this from nbc's john yang. he's outside right now in the holiday crush here on rockefeller pla. john, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. this is the home stretch for shoppers, for retailers, and for hopes for a holiday boost for the economy. at shopping malls and stores across america the christmas countdown is on. but shoppers keeping a close eye on tight household budgets say they're practically done.
>> i actually started earlier this year than in other years because i wanted to take advantage of sales and promotions. >> yeah, it's tougher this year. and yes, i'm buying less. >> reporter: that could mean more bad news for already struggling retailers hoping for the traditional sprint to the finish. >> december 15th is typically when the volume picks up. 40% of holiday sales typically occurs between december 15th to the 25th. >> reporter: a new cnbc poll found that americans plan to spend an average of 10.5% more this year than last year's disastrous shopping season. but the increase is entirely driven by the wealthy. those earning at least $100,000 plan toiing $30,000 and less plan to spend 15% less. holiday shoppers are buying necessities, not luxuries, most of them on sale. >> practical. practical gifts. >> i'm being more selective on what i'm purchasing.
>> definely more clothes than anything. >> reporter: bargain hunters holding out for even deeper discounts as december 25th nears like last yr could be out of luck. this year stores anticipated a lackluster season and cut back on holiday inventories. >> inventory levels are very lean. retailers may not have enough goods on the shelves in order to satisfy consumer demand. >> reporter: analysts say what consumers do over the next 12 days could help set the tone for 2010. lester? >> john yang in mid-town manhattan. thanks. and as christmas shoppers do their part to help the economy, the federal government is planning some big spending of its own this coming year. nbc's mike vic-areaa is in washington. >> reporter: the senate put aside that health care bill to pass some must pass spending legislation to keep many government agencies running throughout t new year and in the process giving some of them a boost in their budgets of between 5% and 15%. this comes as republicans continue to hammer the president on the deficit.
but the president and democrats are readying that job bill that may entail some spending out of that t.a.r.p., unused t.a.r.p. bailout funding bill. they say the best way to reduce the deficit is to get people hired and thereby increase tax revenues into the government and bring down the deficit. top officials today were all on the talk shows saying they expect the jobless re now at 10% to start coming down by spring. and this all comes, lester, as the president prepares to bring what he calls fat cat bafrpgers here to the white house, calling them on the carpet, trying to get them to increase their lending to small businesses, to at least support or stop fighting the financial regulation package he has moving through congress and do something about those big bonuses that a lot of them are starting to hand out again at the end of this year. there's outrage around the country again. the president spoke in very forceful terms in recent days against those bonuses, ster. >> mike vic viquera, thank you. overseas a scare for silvio berlusconi the controversial prime minister of italy. he was attacked after signing
autographs after giving a speech at a rally in milan. his nose and two teeth were broken and his face bloodied by a 42-year-old man who apparently threw a small statue at him, knocking him to the ground in the process. the man was taken into custody. his motive unknown. berlusconi was rushed to the hospital, where he was to remain overnight for observation. when nbc "nightly news" continues this sunday night, amanda knox speaks out. the american exchange student convicted of murder in italy talks about life behind bars. and blues with a feeling. a living link to the roots of an american art form. yeah. would you like a pony ? ye ! ( cluck, cluck, cluck ) oh, wowww ! that's fun ! you didn't say could have a real one. well, you didn't ask. even kids know when it's wrong to hold out on somebody. why don't banks ? we're ally,
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scared but hopeful. the american exchange student behind bars in italy has given her first interview since being convicted of murder eight days ago. we get more now from nbc's mike taibbi. >> reporter: in a week's time just a single still photo of amanda knox behind bars. but in her first published comments since being convicted she said of her guilty verdict, "i don't understand many things, but i have to accept them. things that for me don't always seem fair." an associated press reporter with the group that visited knox said she talked of being in shock after her conviction and 26-year sentence. >> she said she felt horrendous. horrendous was the word that she used. and she said the prison guards held her, they came into her cell and they held her during the night when she was sobbing. >> reporter: but after a later visit from her family her emotions steadied. >> she's not down. she said she had her moment, she had her tears and now she's beyond that, she's ready to focus and she understands that it's just going to be slightly a little bit longer. >> reporter: in the meantime, her co-defendant and former
boyfriend, raffaele sollecito, has also spoken out for the first time since he started his 25-year sentence. "i was certain the verdict would mean the end of a nightmare," he told an italian newspaper. "but it hasn't." of his formelover he said, "amanda is not capable of killing. it's impossible and absurd. she's such a sweet girl." but two judges and a jury of six disagreed despite knox's last-minute plea. >> [ speaking italian ]. >> reporter: that she did not deserve the mask of an assassin. instead, the jury accepted the prosecution's theory of the crime, as described in an animation played in court, that knox administered the fatal stab wound while sollecito and a third convicted defendant, rudy guede, restrained the victim, british exchange student meredith kercher, who was one of knox's roommates. there are wildly different views on the quality of the evidence that led to the guilty verdicts and on whether anti-americanism might have been a factor. knox's family says that despite the verdict the woman dubbed foxy knoxy by critical british
tabloids retains her faith in the italian justice system and says h rights have been respected. in her comments published today knox said, "i am waiting and always hoping." though her appeal is not likely to be argued until next september at the earliest. mike taibbi, nbc news, london. when we come back here tonight, flying down to rio. that city's biggest challenge as it gets ready for the olympic games. retirementredzone.com? that's it, from prudential. she talked to her financial advisor about what she learned there. said it really helped her get back on track. i like that. (announcer) help get your plan back on track. watch our educational video at retirement redzone.com, the site for the critical years before and after retirement. maybe i can retire after all. now you're talking. (announcer) click retirementredzone.com. then talk to your financial professional. brand over the last decade... ...is now over the counter at walmart as prevacid 24hr - to treat frequent heartburn.
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former new york city mayor rudy giuliani to help. our report from cnbc's erin burnett in rio de janeiro. >> reporter: the extremes in rio de janeiro are overwhelming. beautiful beaches, modern skyscrapers, impoverished slums. and with slums come extraordinary levels of crime. there were nearly 4500 murders here in 2008, nine times the number in america's biggest city, new york. this community center is in one of rio's most dangerous neighborhoods, where nearly half the crimes take place. american jack pastor founded it >> crime is not limited to the favelas by any means. crime is really everywhere throughout rio de janeiro. >> reporter: experts say one third of rio's population lives in favelas, or very poor slums like this one. we're here at cope cabana beach. and the favela behind me was raided by police just last week. now they control it instead of the drug lords. but the police are part of the problem. the numbers are staggering.
for every 23 people arrest heerd in r in hee roe is one killed by the police np.united states the comparable number is one killed for every 37,000 arrested. it gives a sense of the scale of the problem. drug lords rule, in part because they're better armed than the real rio police. they sell marijuana, cocaine, and increasingly crack. according to the cia, brazil is the world's second largest consumer of cocaine. the security crisis here a big obstacle to rio's 2016 olympics. and the man running rio's olympics is betting on rudy giuliani to help. in final negotiations to hire him as a security consultant. >> in terms of security measures, because he was very successful in new york city, his insights and his know-how to help us to move forward to fight against crime. >> reporter: but it may be too much to ask. as several people told us in rio, this is more than crime. it's a full-fledged war. erin burnett, cnbc, rio de
janeiro, brazil. the city of houston has elected a new mayor. city controller anise parker won yesterday's runoff election, making houston the largest city in america to have an openly gay mayor. the eight-day jewish festival of lights known as hanukkah began at sundown friday, and late today on the ellipse in washington white house chief of staff rahm emanuel lit the menorah. the 30th anniversary of such a lighting presented by president carter in 1979 p. there are lights of a different kind in the sky tonight. nasa is billing it as the best meteor shower of the year with one or two meteors visible every minute in some places. it's the annual meteor shower hitting its peak tight around midnight eastern time. go out look up and dress warmly. up next an american original still singing the blues. up next an american original still singing the blues. ♪
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the american renewal is happening. right now. finally tonight, there is no style of music more american than the blues. the music that came out of the south, spread around the world, and helped give birth to rock and roll. most of its founding fathers are long gone, legends like robert johnson and muddy waters. but there remains a living link to the birth of the blues. his name is david "honeyboy" edwards. ♪ ♪ when you're down in the
ground ♪ >> reporter: every note from his guitar is a story. 94 years' worth of stories. from the son of a mississippi sharecropper who, guitar in hand, hit the road at age 17. >> we took the freight train. >> reporter: there were a lot of young men in the depression-era south hitching rides, hopping the rails, and playing the blues. they were the first of the delta blues men. some became legends, names like charlie patton, pinetop perkins, and david "honeyboy" edwards. >> i remember once i was coming from memphis, walking down the 61 highway, guitar on my shoulder, people picking cotton. i wasn't picking none. i was trying to make some money. >> and you did it. >> yeah. i hear one holler hey, man, you better put that guitar down or you'll starve to death. i just keep on walking. >> reporter: the journey took him north to places like st.
louis and chicago, which he would eventually call home. and where the music that once earned him nickels and dimes began to earn him fame. >> i've been all over the world. i've been to japan. i've been in denmark. i've been everywhere. >> a kid from shaw, mississippi. >> yeah, from shaw, mississippi. >> reporter: his fingers and his mind are still nimble, just as they were in those juke joints in the mississippi delta years ago. ♪ come on ♪ baby, don't you want to go home ♪ >> reporter: and he still enjoys picking out a tune with fellow musicians he meets along the way. >> still got it, honeyboy. >> hmm? >> you still got it. >> reporter: he also shares his passion for the blues with young people, like musician jerry james nichols. >> without the blues a lot of other music and artforms would be lost. >> reporter: honeyboy edwards is among the last of the first generation of american bluesmen,
still sharing the history. >> you know, honeyboy, a lot of people think that these are hard times right now. what do you say to that? >> no, no. they ain't seen nothing yet. >> reporter: and sharing the music that helped shape a uniquely american art form. >> and he is an american treasure. and next month in los angeles honeyboy edwards will be honored way lifetime achievement award at the grammys. that's nbc "nightly news" for this sunday. stay tuned for "football night in america," followed by "sunday night football." the giants take on the eagles tonight. brian williams will be here tomorrow. i'm lester holt reporting from new york. for all of us here at nbc news, new york. for all of us here at nbc news, good night. -- captions by vitac -- wwm